The Disappearance Of Bandit

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I first met Bandit in the winter of 1983 one cold damp morning around 1:00 A.M. when our dog “Good Dog” a half German shepherd and Samoyed began barking profusely.  Half asleep, I somehow managed to get my hands on a 5-cell flashlight and proceeded to investigate the disturbance.

I opened the back door of the house and quickly scanned the back yard area to locate the intruder.  I saw nothing abnormal and much to my surprise I had overlooked the nearby garbage can which was only a few feet away from my position.  What I saw was a very large raccoon standing atop the refuse in the garbage container.  The beam of light from the flashlight had the raccoon’s eyes glowing a bright greenish color from within the black mask covering most of his head. His fur was bristled and stood on end as well. For a few brief moments we starred at each other neither giving ground. Finally, the raccoon who I later named Bandit, leaped from the garbage can and slumbered off a few yards, stopped and turned around making eye contact again.

Good Dog being the loyal watch she is was straining very hard on her running lease and cable system in an attempt to rid her domain of this non-invited guest which could possibly have been her first contact with a raccoon.

Well, ole Bandit finally exited the back yard moving as if he owned the place and probably wondering why his late time snack was interrupted by all the commotion.  Good Dog ran out of bark and retired to her A-frame house after several praises from her “master” for being alert and on the job.

Bandit made several more appearances that winter and following spring with similar tactics being employed on the garbage can and was a master at removing the lid as I will further explain.  That particular refuse container in use then would take a minimum of two hands and sometimes a bracing leg to remove the stubborn lid because the can had been distorted by the constant crashing against the garbage disposal truck’s steel frame by the sanitation employee’s efforts to remove the refuse from the can.

I can remember many times while watching the late midnight news the sound made by the metal garbage can’s lid striking the ground as Bandit threw it there.  Good Dog by now had become accustomed to this intruder and no longer would sound the alarm since she must have sensed Bandit was no threat to her.

It was a couple of years to follow before Bandit took up residence, or it was by then when we found at least one of his (condos) dens that he used quite frequently.  A large sweet gum tree that had a cavity (hollow) big enough to house Bandit was one of his favorite winter and spring homes, which was located in a small wooded area between White Store Road and West Avenue. Bandit apparently didn’t mind visitors to his den sweet gum tree and we watched him from ground level many times in the few short years to follow.

Myself and several of our family members observed bandit resting on his favorite porch, which was a large fork in one the upper limbs.  Bandit would watch us with the same curiosity that we had for him and he would stretch, yawn and move around with no overt fear displayed for us.

Bandit would also use a persimmon tree in the fall when it’s fruit was ripe and free for the taking and during the harsh winter months when pickings were very slim, he would venture as far west as Moore street and raid a few dog and cat feeding dishes when their guardians were asleep on the job.

However, this past winter, Bandit did not make his usual rounds and I hoped he would be seen by spring but Bandit still didn’t return. I thought, well maybe he became too bold and ventured too close to a watchdog awake and on the job, or perhaps he moved too slow while crossing White Store Road which has 50 mile per hour plus traffic late at night, or maybe he died of natural causes…….the variables were endless, but still I just couldn’t help wondering what did happen to ole Bandit.

I continued to ask around the neighborhood enquiring about Bandit and a few weeks ago I was in a place of business and one of their executives stated that one of his employees had told him about a person that had trapped a very large raccoon in my vicinity. The employee was later contacted and did verify what was related to me and I was puzzled as to why a beautiful harmless raccoon that had adapted to “city life" would be destroyed.

With the usage of a not to sophisticated legal surveillance system it was concluded as to why ole Bandit had to go.  The bottom line was that a “flock” of blue bird boxes had taken up residence on the same property that Bandit was using and the blue bird box owners wanted to protect the blue birds or future nesting blue birds from predication from raccoons, cats, squirrels or anything that would be a potential threat to them.

NOTE:  I broke the individual referenced above from "sucking eggs" as I took out a warrant on him for spray painting my cat that he had caught in a live trap on his property and he had two local attorneys hired and they still lost the case in court.  Guess this ole country box out foxed them.  He was found guilty of cruelty to animals, a small fine imposed and had to pay the cost of court.  As the two attorneys where leaving the courtroom, the individual's spouse was laying some serious words on those two high dollar attorneys.....I am still grinning to this date!  The story made national headlines and some locals called him cat man when they went by his place of business up town when he was standing out front and he would quickly retreat back inside.  It is to my understanding he received hate mail from all across the country.

In SUMMATION, mankind being the stronger has the power to decide who or what lives or dies at the other’s expense, but the question is, “Is it morally right”?  We are entrusted to be good stewards over what God has created and this is a tremendous responsibility and task for all of us.  Animals, fowl, fish and all of our natural resources are utilized by all of us in one form or another for sustenance, but the needless, reckless destruction and wastefulness of the same without the employment of proper management techniques will bring devastating results as history has shown us many, many times in the past.

The ones that usurp their power, authority and control over less fortunate and abuse creatures, lower plant and animal forms, natural resources and yes, mankind; will have to answer and reap their just reward from the true Judge of all.

We may escape man’s judgment, but God’s judgment is inevitable and final.  Before you kill that harmless garden snake, step on a passing insect, throw that too small fish just caught on the bank to die, etc., and ask yourself this question! Does not this creature desire to live?  Make the right decision.  Self-preservation and survival is common to all things. I am sure ole Bandit wanted to live also.

Photo of my "bride" taken in 1980 with our pet raccoon "Ringtail":


Written by Bill aka Mickey Porter and updated on 04-15-15. 


If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please take this moment to accept him by Faith into your Life, whereby Salvation will be attained.   

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Open this link of Bible Verses About Salvation, King James Version Bible (KJV).

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”


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